MRO Magazine

Real gross domestic product edged down in April


Industry

June 30, 2015
By Bill Roebuck
Bill Roebuck

Real GDP edges down in AprilOttawa – Real gross domestic product edged down 0.1% in April 2015, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. A decrease in the output of goods-producing industries outweighed an increase in service industries.

Goods production fell 0.8% in April, down for a fourth consecutive month, primarily as a result of a contraction in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Decreases were also recorded in manufacturing, utilities and construction. In contrast, the agriculture and forestry sector increased.

The output of service-providing industries grew 0.3% in April, a third consecutive monthly increase. The gain in April was led by wholesale trade. There were also increases in the public sector (education, health and public administration combined), accommodation and food services and professional services. On the other hand, there were notable declines in the finance and insurance sector and retail trade.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction contracts again

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Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction contracted 2.6% in April, down for a sixth consecutive month.

Oil and gas extraction fell 3.4%, mainly as a result of a decline in the non-conventional oil extraction industry, which experienced maintenance shutdowns and production difficulties in April. Conventional crude petroleum and natural gas extraction was also down.

Mining and quarrying (excluding oil and gas extraction) declined 3.4% in April. Notable decreases were recorded in copper, nickel, lead and zinc ore mining, iron ore mining as well as coal mining.

After falling for four consecutive months, support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction rose 9.9% in April, as both rigging and drilling services advanced.

Wholesale trade rises while retail trade falls

After increasing 0.9% in March, wholesale trade rose 1.6% in April. The gain in April was a result of increases in machinery, equipment and supplies, motor vehicle and parts as well as miscellaneous wholesaling (which includes agricultural supplies). In contrast, the wholesaling of food, beverage and tobacco was down.

Retail trade fell 0.2% in April, following increases of 1.5% in February and 0.3% in March. Declines were notable at food and beverage stores, electronics and appliance stores as well as health and personal care stores. Conversely, increases occurred at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as clothing and clothing accessories stores.

Manufacturing output declines

Manufacturing output declined 0.2%, down for a fourth consecutive month.

Non-durable goods manufacturing declined 0.3%, primarily because of decreases in food and paper manufacturing. In contrast, beverage and tobacco, textile, clothing and leather as well as plastic and rubber products manufacturing were up.

Durable-goods manufacturing edged down 0.1% in April. Machinery, transportation equipment and, to a lesser extent, miscellaneous manufacturing were down. On the other hand, gains were notable in the manufacturing of computer and electronic products, primary metal as well as furniture and related products.

Construction edges down

Construction edged down 0.1% in April as an increase in repair construction was more than offset by declines in residential and non-residential building and engineering construction.

The output of real estate agents and brokers increased 5.4%, up for a third consecutive month.

Finance and insurance sector falls

After increasing for four consecutive months, the finance and insurance sector fell 0.6% in April. Financial investment services were notably down in April, following increases in February and March. Banking and insurance services were also down in April.

Other industries

Utilities declined 0.7% in April, after falling 1.7% in March. Natural gas distribution as well as electricity generation, transmission and distribution were both down in April.

The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) increased 0.2% as education and health services as well as public administration increased.

Accommodation and food services were up 1.2% in April, mainly as a result of an increase in the food services and drinking places industry.